France has offered to provide anti-aircraft warfare and anti-submarine warfare frigates to Greece free of charge.
Greece wants to purchase four new frigates, and modernize four of its German-made MEKO frigates. Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos also wants two used ships that are “ready” and “in good condition” for temporary use. France will fulfil Greece’s needs provided the latter asks French company Naval Group to build new frigates, La Tribune reported Tuesday.
The French Navy will provide Jean Bart (anti-aircraft warfare) and Latouche-Tréville (anti-submarine warfare) frigates commissioned in early 1990s to the Hellenic Navy if the deal fructifies. This will an intermediate solution before new frigates would be built within a span of 7-8 years.
The Hellenic Navy, which went to examine these old frigates, was apparently surprised by their “good condition.”
Naval Group has also offered four frigates- three of which will be manufactured locally in a Greek shipyard. It has also tried to make the deal attractive to Athens, after the latter rejected a €2.5 billion contract in July 2020 for two armed frigates. As a result, the price per ship is said to have fallen somewhere between 15% and 20%.